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Blood on their hands

DECCAN CHRONICLE.

Actor-director Sreenivasan has again stirred the hornet’s nest by saying political parties should stop using violence as a political tool. DC gets the opinion of three woman writers who share the actor’s opinion for their own reasons.

Actor and director Sreenivasan who has penned several screenplays for films which were big hits as political satires has come down heavily on all the three major political parties in the state for indulging in political violence. “Martyrdom is a ploy of the political leaders to attain power and make money,” the actor said after releasing the book Urulayum Upperiyum’ by organic farmer Gopu Kodugnallur in Thrissur. “But the cadres end up  behind bars and their families live in sorrow. Only in the families of cadres we see widows and orphans and not in the homes of political leaders.”

Three major parties were make bombs and the erect flex boards of martyrs to gain political mileage. “But the only the picture of lower-rung workers of these political parties appear on this flex boards and not of their leaders,” he said. “Interestingly, the top leaders of these political parties who spread hatred share good friendship among themselves. They express it whenever they meet and invite each other for their personal functions.”

The actor who is a native Kannur, the hotbed of political violence, is a backward district in the state. “We don’t have big factories or industry in Kannur,” the actor said. “So, we started bomb making as a cottage industry. During the day we make bombs and at night we blast them. The rivals, too, do the same and retaliate in the same manner.”

 It’s time we realise futility of violence

I always fear a day when my child will come across the blood spattered on the street. It is high time we realized the futility of violence. One gains nothing by drawing blood. No victory soaked in blood can ever be eternal. It is when imagination dies that violence erupts. Wherever there is imagination, wars are unheard of. The ancient adage ‘pen is mightier than the sword’ is a rebuke to the monster in us, a reminder that we have better, more powerful, ways of putting our thoughts across. What was the need to strike 51 fatal wounds on a man when the killers had 51 alphabets infinitely sharper than their swords at their command?

Lost in this orgy of violence is the wisdom that the final judgement will be done by dispassionate Time. And when mother Time takes stock, all gains wrought by violence will be brushed aside, confined to obscurity. But in the present, violence is so pervasive that we as a society have grown inured to it. It is only when violence stalks someone very close that we are jolted out of our muddled anaesthesia. In my case, when I see my students getting hurt, or when I look at my little one.

The youth should allow nothing – not ideology, not religion – to have complete sway over their identities. They should allow no thought to impose itself upon them. Even when they work for a cause, they should obsessively hold on to their right to think. They should never be led like blind men, they should always have their eyes open. Blood is precious only when it runs inside our bodies. Spilled, it is a terrifying spectre. And those who wave their swords to spill the blood of others become part of that inhuman terror. Let us have politics but let it be the politics of humanism, not of power. Politics of power, and money, inevitably creates the terror of blood, the ghastly red star-bursts of blood on street walls that I would die to keep hidden from my little one.

Arya Gopi (The writer is a poet and assistant professor of English at Zamorin’s Guruvayurappan College, Kozhikode)

Violent politics spoil students

Violence on campus is not new in Kerala but it has had the worst impact in the last few decades. The campuses once used to boast of student leaders who excelled in academics. However, violence in the backdrop of the sweeping changes in the political economy in the 25 years has changed the students’ attitude towards politics. Today what I see on most campuses is a distinct demarcation between two classes of students: the first comprises a set of student leaders who have no qualms in resorting to violence and using physical means to settle scores. The other is a larger set who refuses to come out of their safe zones and be part of the larger political process. It used to be a mix of the two in the past, but it is no more the case now.

Its inexplicable how students with high academic ambitions and plans for their future involve in student politics and get waylaid. If I can blame anything, it’s the violence that comes with politics on to the campus. After spending three years on the campus, several of them end up with back papers and criminal cases. Many cannot pursue their career nor can go abroad.

This violent politics has another dangerous fallout, too. There are many who think politics or political consciousness is an unwanted affair with which a serious student should not dabble. So, they keep aloof from activities that are political, and concentrate only on their studies. They might get good jobs or pursue their studies elsewhere but I am sure that they will live the rest of their lives without the political sense demanded of an enlightened human being.

This deep disenchantment with violence has its impact on the campus, too: either it’s a violent one, or it sleeps on occasions when it ought to be alive. True, instances of class boycotts have come down, and I welcome that. But I cannot digest the idea of a campus which refuses to respond to injustice or to events that would once be recalled as milestones in the history of the nation. I am also sad that campuses do not respond when injustice is perpetrated on innocent and hapless people.

It often perplexes me that while a section of students ruin their lives for the sake of their political ideology, the leaders who promote violence as a political tool ensure that their children get the best of education and physical comforts in life. This is an effective argument many use against the very idea of politics on the campus, and unless the politicians took a sensible decision on this paradox, the campuses will cease to be the vibrant democratic places we want them to be.

(Deepa Nishant, assistant professor at Sree Kerala Varma College, Thrissur, is a writer.)

All political parties are failed institutions

The political leaders, belonging to opposite parties, hugging and sharing light moments at private functions and spitting poisonous words against each other in public gatherings show their double face, which, unfortunately, their followers fail to recognise. While they have strong influence and can easily intervene to settle whatever issue the parties have, they even do not think of such a solution. And instead, they exhort their followers to retaliate. This is barbaric.

We live in a civilised world and political leaders exhorting to kill political opponents can only be considered fanatics. They repeatedly speak against the ISIS but follow the same methods that the terrorists use. The common party workers are blind followers, who are ready to kill and die for the party. An eye for eye will only make the whole world blind. This is not the rule of the civilised society.

Killing even by the government – like capital punishment also cannot be justified. We should be able to redefine justice. There is justice beyond the law. And that cannot be found in the law books. Even when we sympathise with the victims of political violence, we are forced to take sides with the same party that killed the man, because we are not left with much choices here. I have Left ideologies and I follow Left politics. Personally, I could not take sides with those killed T.P. Chandrasekharan, the RMP leader. I know they are wrong. Still, like many others, I am also forced to be on their side, since we do not have another strong Leftist group to be part of.

Our children should have good leadership to follow and grow. We lack good leaders who can be role models for our children. Children are the ones who should rebuild the nation. They should be guided with love, not hatred. Humans are not to be blamed. Considering the evolution period of man as one year, we were barbarians for 362 days and it has been only 3 days since we have started living with love, kindness and cooperation. There should be a new evolution and that is possible only through love. We are evolved socially and economically and made strides in education. Still we are not able to root out killings even in the name of politics. The parties cannot save their face by killing each other and proceed saying that they are modern.

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